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Tuesday, March 8, 2005 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES
2005-03-08

Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai on the Environment, the War in Iraq, Debt and Women’s Equality

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Today on this International Women’s Day, we spend the hour with Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and first environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Her life story is a remarkable one. Wangari Maathai grew up in a rural village in Kenya. She excelled at school and eventually won a scholarship to attend university in the United States. After graduating with a degree in biological sciences she went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1971, she received her PhD from the University of Nairobi, making her the first woman in eastern and central Africa to earn a doctorate.

She then embarked on what would become a life-long campaign against the government-backed forest clearances in Kenya. In 1977, she founded the Green Belt Movement when she planted nine tree seeds in the yard of her house. In the following years, she succeeded in persuading women across Africa to do the same. Today, about 30 million trees have been planted across the continent to fight deforestation.

Throughout her life, Wangari Maathai has campaigned on issues such as poverty, malnutrition, corruption, women’s low economic status and the lack of media freedom in Kenya. She has also criticized the negative images of Africa in the Western media and the reluctance of rich countries to relieve Africa’s debt. [includes rush transcript]

Kenya’s former president, Daniel arap Moi, once called her a "mad woman," and "a threat to the order and security of the country." Over the years, she has been arrested several times for her environmental campaigning.

In 1989, she forced the government to abandon plans to build a skyscraper to house party headquarters on public land. In 1992, she was beaten unconscious by police during a hunger strike. In 1999, she was whipped on the head and arrested while trying to plant saplings to replace trees felled by property developers. She caught the nation’s attention when she insisted on signing the police report with the blood from her head.

She tried to run for president in 1997 but her candidacy was cancelled on a technicality. After Moi’s party lost a presidential election in 2002, she was elected to parliament and is now deputy environment minister on Kenya.

Last year, the Nobel committee named her the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace prize saying, "Peace on Earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment." She received the award in December at a ceremony in Oslo.

  • Wangari Maathai, accepting the Nobel Peace prize, December 10, 2004.

Wangari Maathai joins us today in our firehouse studio.

  • Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner.
  • Wanjira Maathai, daughter of Wangari Maathai. She is the international liaison for the Green Belt Movement of Kenya. She is a rising figure in Kenyan and international environmental, women’s and social justice movements.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Wangari Maathai received the award at a ceremony in Oslo.

WANGARI MAATHAI: As the first African woman to receive this prize, I accept it on behalf of the people of Kenya and Africa and indeed the whole world. I am especially mindful of women and girl-child. I hope to encourage them to raise their voices and take more space for leadership. I know the honor also gives a deep sense of pride to our men, both old and young. As a mother, I appreciate the inspiration this brings to the youth I urge them to use it to pursue their dreams. Although this prize comes to me, it acknowledges the work of countless individuals and groups across the world. They work quietly and often without recognition to protect the environment, promote democracy, defend human rights and ensure equality between women and men. By so doing, they plant the seeds of peace. I know they too are proud today. To all who feel represented by this prize I say use it to advance your mission, and meet with the high expectations the world will place on all of us. This honor is also for my family, friends, partners and supporters throughout the world. All of them helped shape the vision and sustain the work which was often accomplished under hostile conditions. I’m also grateful to the people of Kenya who remained stubbornly hopeful that democracy could be realized and the environment managed sustainably. Because of this support, I’m here today to accept this great honor. I am immensely privileged to join my fellow African Peace Laureates, President Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Chief Albert Lutuli, the late Anwar al-Sadat and the U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. I know that African people everywhere are encouraged by this news. My fellow Africans, as we embrace this recognition let us use it to intensify our commitment to our people to reduce conflicts and poverty and thereby improve the quality of life of our people. Let us embrace democratic governance, protect human rights and protect our environment. I’m confident that we shall rise to the occasion. I have always believed that solutions to most of our problems will have to come from us. In this year’s prize the Norwegian Nobel Committee has placed the critical issue of environment and its linkage to democracy and peace before the world. For their visionary actions I’m profoundly grateful. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come.

AMY GOODMAN: Wangari Maathai, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, joining us today for the hour. Welcome to Democracy Now!.

WANGARI MAATHAI: Thank you very much.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s an honor to have you in our humble firehouse studios.

WANGARI MAATHAI: It’s wonderful to be here. Thank you very much for having me.

AMY GOODMAN: I know you’re heading back to Kenya tonight. Can you go back to the moment when you heard that you had won the Nobel Peace Prize? Where were you?

WANGARI MAATHAI: I was on my way to my constituency, and this is something I do often on Fridays, because for the rest of the week I’m attending Parliament in Nairobi and attending to my ministerial duties. But on Fridays and most of the weekends, I’m in the rural areas tending to my constituents. So, I was actually on my way. I had a meeting there, and I also was going to participate in the issuing of cards to the youth. So, I was doing what I always do over the weekend.

AMY GOODMAN: So, how did you learn? A telephone call?

WANGARI MAATHAI: A telephone call came first from the Norwegian Ambassador in Kenya, and he told me that I want you to keep your telephone free, because you are going to be called within some minutes from Oslo, and they have some news for you. And well, I thought maybe it is — maybe it is something that has to do with my friends. I have some very good friends in Norway of many years, and I had some partners with whom we worked on the Green Belt Movement for many years. So it was nothing extraordinary. I had just then, in June of the same year, received the Sophie Prize which is given in Norway. So, hearing from the embassy was not such a big deal. Little did I know what was lying ahead.

AMY GOODMAN: So what did you do? Did you immediately turn around and go back to Nairobi?

WANGARI MAATHAI: No, I didn’t, actually. I was persuaded to go back to Nairobi because I was told that’s where the press is, that’s where everybody is looking for me, but I had an appointment with my people, and they were waiting for me, so I just got it done and went and did what I was expected to do, but in the meantime, the President, Mr. Mwai Kibaki, was looking for me, and he couldn’t track me down. Finally, he sent a helicopter to pick me up, take me back to Nairobi. It was wonderful. It was the first time anything like that ever happened so, a lot of wonderful things happened on that day.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Wangari Maathai on this International Women’s Day. We’ll be back in a minute with her.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: Our guest is the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Wangari Maathai. She is with us in the studio where Shirin Ebadi sat last year, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner. You are the first African woman and environmentalist to win this prize. Can you talk about the connection between environmental issues and peace?

WANGARI MAATHAI: It is very important for us to recognize the historic shift that has taken place as a result of this prize. That the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided after almost 100 years of the prize that it is very, very important for the world to recognize the linkage between good management of the environment, sustainable and efficient management of our environment and resources, and equitable distribution of these resources on one side, and democratic space and peace. If we are going to manage our resources sustainability, efficiently, if we are going to share them equitably, we need democratic space. It is impossible to manage resources responsibly and sustainably in a dictatorship, because in such a situation you have a few people controlling the resources at the expense of the many, and therefore, you cannot have peace. Sooner or later, you have conflict. And when we look at many of the wars that have been fought today and have been fought in the past, they are over resources. Whether it is at the national level or whether it is at the group level. This is the mind shift that the Committee is calling us to. To recognize the linkage between these three pillars of any stable society.

AMY GOODMAN: Speaking of war, your thoughts on the invasion and occupation of Iraq?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, I really don’t want to occupy myself in this war. We all know how we got there, and we all know what has happened since, but it is very, very important for us to recognize that the resources that are in that country must be managed sustainably, responsibly and for the benefit of the people of that country. They will share them with the rest of the world, but surely, these resources must benefit the majority of the people in that country, and that that can only happen if you have democratic space. And this democratic space is going to have to be built first and foremost by the people of that country within their constraints, within their culture, within their history.

AMY GOODMAN: What kind of effect does this war, the war in Iraq, have on Africa, have on Kenya? Does it?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, one of the impacts of this, of course, is because of the oil. Suddenly, the oil price goes up, and for poor countries such as the countries in Africa, this suddenly means that resources that could have been diverted to education, to medical care, to providing drugs, are diverted to buy oil, since many of our economies are very dependent on that oil. And the speculation means that a lot of us have to forego some of the very basic services because our governments are not able to provide those services. Now, as you know, Kenya has been a victim of terror twice, in fact, and therefore, for us, it has meant negative impact on tourism, including countries advising their citizens not to travel to Kenya. So, economically, the war in Iraq has a lot of impacts, negative impact in many other parts of the world where we may not even consider that there is any connection.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner. You have been traveling the world since you won the prize, and one of the places you went was Japan, where you held a news conference in Tokyo, calling for cancellation of debt repayments by African countries. Can you talk about this issue?

WANGARI MAATHAI: This issue of debt has been discussed for many years. In the year 2000, there was a global campaign called, Jubilee 2000 Campaign, and it was calling for the cancellation of the debts. We all know about these debts. We all know that many of these debts were actually accumulated at a time when there was no democracy in many of our countries, when business was being done with dictators, people who were not responsible and accountable to their people. The people who were doing business with them, who are now the governments that are now demanding the repayments of these debts knew that these were dictators, that these people were not accountable to their people, but now sometimes after these dictators are no longer in power, it is the ordinary people, the ordinary rural populations, who are being punished, who are being sacrificed by their governments so that their governments can service the debts. That’s why we are saying, really, if there is a will to assist African countries and other developing countries, these debts should be canceled and mechanisms should be found either to repay these monies or recover, because they’re known where they are. So, we think that — and I’m very grateful to some of the governments, especially within G8, that are advocating that indeed the debts should be canceled. Some countries don’t pay, and those who pay are quite often sacrificing their people, sacrificing poor people, sacrificing sick people, sacrificing people who are unable to send their children to school.

AMY GOODMAN: Would you recommend that countries simply don’t pay the debt?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, I know some people have said, 'Why do these people bother? Why do they sacrifice their people, even though they know the facts on the ground?' Now we know that many of these countries that are demanding the payments of debts are in a position to greatly punish any country that refuses to pay those debts, to service those debts, and that, I’m sure, is the reason why many of our governments continue to sacrifice their people, because the punishment that they could get would be greater, and it would have even a greater impact on their people. Punishments such as having the markets completely closed, refusing to provide any aid, refusing to do any trade. So, I think that it’s a very unfair system that we are facing in the world today, and it’s a system where in all aspects the might is right and can do whatever it does — it want to do, because the weak are too weak to refuse to punish itself.

AMY GOODMAN: Wangari Maathai, can you talk about how you founded the Green Belt Movement?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, almost 30 years ago now as we were preparing to go to Mexico to the very first United Nations Conference on Women, the conference that declared the Women’s Decade in Mexico, we were discussing at the national level under the umbrella of the National Council of Women of Kenya, and here women from all different sectors came and met around the table. And as we talked, I listened to the women from the rural areas, and I noticed that the issues that they were raising had something to do with the land. They were asking for firewood. They said they needed firewood. They needed energy, which is their main sources of energy. They needed clean drinking water. They needed food. They needed income, because they were poor.

And I recognized the linkage between their problems and the environment, which was degraded and was not able to sustain them. And so, perhaps because of my biological background, because I did my studies in biology, in ecology, I immediately understood that what we really needed to address those problems is to rehabilitate the environment. I did not go to Mexico, but I stayed home and immediately started encouraging women that we plant trees. That’s how it all started. But as I went deeper into that exercise, I started to see a labyrinth, a labyrinth of problems, linkages of problems in other sectors, such as governance. Governance became a very important cause or root cause of environmental degradation. Bad governance, misgovernance, logging, deforestation, allowing soil erosion, irresponsible management of these resources by the government. And that is why eventually the movement started the campaign for the greater democratic space and became eventually a joint — eventually, the pro-democracy movement in Kenya.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about why more than ten years ago, you stripped naked with other women in the streets of downtown Nairobi?

WANGARI MAATHAI: I should say, I personally did not want to strip naked, but some of my colleagues did, and the reason was that particular incident was an incident where in the course of many years people, young people, especially young men, who were trying to reintroduce a multiparty political system in the country, who were advocating for greater democratic space, had systematically been picked and thrown into jail. Many of them had been tortured in torture chambers that had been created in a building that was immediately opposite where we had camped. The building is called Nyayo House. And the mothers of those sons came to me and asked me if I could join them to demand the release of their sons. That was in 1991, towards the end of 1991, when the multiparty system was reintroduced, and as a result, there was no good reason where all of those people, all of those young men who had been jailed because of their political activities, should have been in. And so I joined them and I became like their interpreter.

We went to the government, went to the Attorney General, the Honorable Amos Waku, and we told him, now that we have reintroduced the multiparty system, now that you have said that it’s okay to advocate for greater democratic space, all of these sons — there were about 52 of them at that time that we knew of — should be released. We requested him to do so, to facilitate. We went to this park, which is the Freedom Park, Uhuru Park in Nairobi, in one little corner, opposite that building, and we camped there to wait for the sons. And it was while we were there that a lot of people came to that site, and they started giving witnesses of how they had been arrested, sometimes on trumped-up charges, sometimes due to misunderstanding, how they had been taken to those chambers, how they had been tortured, and men were crying tears because of the experience they had gone through. And that was the very first time that people had found space to talk about their persecution, to talk about the oppression of that government. I think that we just threatened that government to its roots, because for the first time we had created space for people to talk about how their rights had been violated.

AMY GOODMAN: And the significance of undressing?

WANGARI MAATHAI: The significance of undressing was that when the government unleashed its terror on us, and the people who were with us there, several hundreds of them on that day, the women in the traditional African demonstration of anger and frustration by women, when women are confronted, punished, threatened by men who are old enough to be their sons, that’s extremely humiliating, because whatever you do as a man, you must not touch your mother. You cannot beat your mother. You cannot hurt your mother. So, what these women were doing to these soldiers is to tell them, I curse you as my son for the way you are treating me, and I’m your mother. That’s what these women — that’s what the statement really is, that some women stripped naked, other women can shake their breasts. It’s a way of telling young men that you have violated one of the most sacred codes, that you never touch your mother.

AMY GOODMAN: Wangari Maathai, you led a one-woman charge against Daniel arap Moi’s autocratic regime after he proposed building the tallest skyscraper in Africa, and a six-story statue of himself in the only public green space in Kenya’s capital. He called you a mad woman. He called you a threat to the order and security of the country. Ultimately, you prevailed.

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, all of this is part of the misgovernance that I’m talking about, the fact that here is a public park, the only huge public park that is available to the members of the public. It is a beehive over the weekends especially, because that’s where most people from lower-income areas escape with their families. The ruling party at that time, at a time when it felt very, very powerful, like nobody could touch it, decided to build this tower and to take over the park. All I did was tell the ruling party that this is completely unacceptable. This is a park that is very, very important. It’s a green space. Every city needs green spaces. Every city needs trees. Every city needs a space where people can rest without being asked questions and without being perceived as if they’re intruding, because they, too, need space. Space is a human right. You need space, and so I campaigned to have that space protected, and fortunately for me, there were also a lot of networks, especially in other parts of the world, including here in America. People who went to their governments and who requested an explanation as to why our government was being supported to destroy a green space in the city and why our government was being supported when the people themselves don’t want it.

Now this, again, was the very first time that citizens had managed to raise their voices to demand their environmental rights and to say that this building, they do not want. And for the donors, for the very first time for the donors to listen to the voice of the people. Because sometimes donors don’t pay any attention to the people, to the local people. They’re so busy doing business with the leaders. So even if the leaders are very oppressive, they’re very dictatorial, the donors will just go ahead and do business. Now this was the first time that the donors said, 'Well, I guess Kenyans have spoken.' And so, they withdrew their support.

AMY GOODMAN: The investors?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Yeah, the investors. That more than perhaps my yelling and shouting saved the park.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Wangari Maathai. We go to break and then come back. And, finally, we’ll be joined by her daughter, as well.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: Our guest is Wangari Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner. In a few minutes, we’re going to talk with her daughter as well, who has joined us, and joined us soon after the announcement was made of the award to her mother. But before we do that, Wangari, I wanted to ask you about the issue of AIDS. It was announced on Friday, the U.N. warning another 89 million people in Africa could be infected by the HIV virus over the next 20 years. The U.N. described AIDS as the continent’s biggest crisis since slavery, some 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa already living with HIV and AIDS. Now, you have said, "Some say AIDS came from monkeys. I doubt that, because we’ve been living with monkeys since time immemorial. Others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that." And you’ve talked about it being from "evil men." Can you talk about your thoughts on AIDS?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, I would like to say that I never said that it was an agent created to destroy the black people. That, I don’t know where it came from. And I have stated quite clearly that I didn’t say that, and I don’t believe it. I am not an expert on AIDS. I don’t even know where it came from, and I’m waiting like everybody else to be guided by the scientists who I know are working very hard not only to understand it, but also to save humanity, which is facing this disease. And, obviously, in my part of the world, it is, as you have read, a devastating disease, partly because it’s finding people who are — who have their cultural practices have been destroyed. It is finding people who are very uninformed. It is finding people who in many ways may be malnourished and therefore their immune system is very poor. It is finding people who are poor, and therefore, unable to even access the drugs that are available. So, for us members of parliament we’ve been held responsible to go to the villages and educate and urge our people to understand the grave impact of this disease, and to try to protect themselves, and to protect each other. And those who are interested in my position on this can log on my website, WangariMaathai.org, and you see my position on this. I think that I also want to take this opportunity to urge companies that have drugs, that can make drugs available, to really assist our governments so that more and more people, especially in the rural areas, those who are known to make less than $1 a day, and medicine is still more than that per day, to do something to reduce the price of these drugs so that more and more of our people can access the drugs. That is what is important at this time, as our scientists continue to work on the disease.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you feel many feel that it is a biological agent that was unleashed to destroy black people in Africa?

WANGARI MAATHAI: I don’t know of anyone who really believes that. I don’t know of anyone who believes that. Most of us don’t know. And part of the responsibility that we have is to educate people so that they are not given misinformation, and there is a lot of misinformation that goes around about the disease, as you know.

AMY GOODMAN: On the issue of the Kyoto Protocol: In Japan, where you just were, in Kyoto, you called on nations who are holding out to sign the Kyoto Protocol. What would you say to President Bush, who has unsigned that treaty?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, I have been under a lot of pressure to make a statement about especially the United States because, of course, the United States is the leader of the world today in many ways. It is the superpower. It provides leadership that a lot of people look up to, and what the United States decides does have a great impact on the rest of the world. And so, when it doesn’t sign the Kyoto Protocol, a lot of people raise their voices. But I have been saying that whatever the reasons are that the President has for not subscribing to the Kyoto Protocol, I want to recognize the millions of Americans, both at the individual level, at community level, even at municipality level, and even among companies who are doing a lot to address the issues of climate change; and I really believe that eventually it is these citizens who are going to ask the government to change its position or to negotiate a protocol that is truly in support of what the rest of the world is advocating for. And I would rather really engage these citizens, thank them, encourage them, and ask them to work on their government to change its position, and to understand that for a country that consumes so much fossil fuels, produces so much of greenhouse gases, it cannot afford to leave the rest of the world to deal with the climate change.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner, 2004. We are also joined in the studio by Wanjira Maathai, the daughter of Wangari (the only daughter, she also has two sons), international liaison for the Green Belt Movement of Kenya, a rising figure in Kenyan and international environmental women’s politics in the world. How did you raise your daughter? What was your philosophy?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, I must say that in many ways, I’m very grateful for the way that this young lady has turned out, because when I started my campaign some 30 years ago, they were just kids. They were small. They did not really have understand what mom was involved in, why she was involved in that. And as they were growing up, I was always concerned because I didn’t know how they were processing the information about jails, about beatings, about harassment, because as a parent, and as all of us, most of us who are involved in activism in trying to improve our communities, we do it because that’s our time to do it, but we are at the same time raising the next generation. And I can only say that I hope that as we do what we need to do or what we must do, that we do it with a consciousness that we are raising the next generation, and that the next generation is looking at us and is evaluating whether they should adopt or whether they should abandon what we are doing.

AMY GOODMAN: Wanjira, what was it like to see your mother beaten, for your mother to be jailed? What was it like for a little girl in Kenya?

WANJIRA MAATHAI: It was difficult, especially the initial times, when I — I think, probably in the late 1980s is when I really started to understand that something is really wrong, you know, it doesn’t make sense. I used to ask a lot of questions, and I used to get answers. You know, I used to — My mother would explain to me that, you know, when you do something wrong or when you let — you don’t have to wait for everybody to help you solve this problem. If you see that it’s wrong and you believe that it’s the right thing to do, do something about it. So, I always knew that what she was doing was probably going against the grain, and that —-not always very popular, especially with government. I was always very afraid. I always feared that something would happen to her. But I always had a part of me that believed that maybe she’s lucky. Something -— she’s protected, because she always did come back, and she always made it through some very difficult situations. So, in a way, I came up with a coping mechanism of saying that nothing will happen, and I refused to believe that something would.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s International Working Women’s Day, and this is something that so many working women struggle with, also, is simply being away from their children. How did you deal with that? How did you find the balance of being a role model out there in the world, but being there for your kids, not just them watching you on television?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Well, fortunately, I was able to go back home and be with them, and when they grew up later, and even came to the United States to study, thank God for telephones, and that I could call them, and I could reach them. And occasionally, I would have an opportunity to travel to this country, and I would be able to be in touch with them. It is not as if there was any deliberate plan that, now I must stop this campaign and rush home and be with the children. It was a way of life. You’re struggling on one side, you’re struggling; on the other hand, you know that you have children that have to be fed and have to be put to bed, and their homework has to be looked at, and somehow you cope. You don’t always cope very well. I must say that sometimes you are under a lot of pressure, and you doubt yourself, and sometimes you look at them and you look at their innocent eyes and you wonder, will they be alright? And it is not as if I knew that I would come out alright, and that there would never be —- I would never have a problem. There were situations where my life was literally threatened, but it also so happens that when you are committed to a cause, so many people less lucky than myself have lost their lives, even environmentalists have lost their lives. The Brazilian, I’m trying to remember his name -—

AMY GOODMAN: Chico Mendes?

WANGARI MAATHAI: Chico Mendes, who was killed because of his activities in trying to save the Amazon. Recently Ken Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria. So a lot of our colleagues have lost their lives, have been maimed. And I’m lucky, and I thank God. And I also want to say at this time that I have been emphasizing that, although this prize came to me, and although I’m the one who is receiving all the glory and all the accolades, this is really a recognition for all of us, and I hope that we as environmentalists and people who have worked for democratic principles who have pushed the democracy movement, who have been fighting for peace movements, who have been in the women’s movement, to recognize that it is all of us together, all of this huge constituency of civil society that has been recognized by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. And the Committee has said, 'These are the people who are shaping what should be the next state of the world. That this is the future. This is where the future is, and these are the people that we want people to focus on, and to see what they're doing, and to embrace what they’re doing.’ So, I’m hoping that all of this huge constituency is feeling proud, is feeling encouraged, is feeling that it is recognized, that we can walk tall. A day like this for women to feel good as women, to feel that even though quite often we are not recognized, we struggle, we are ridiculed, we are abandoned, we are sometimes put aside — even when we are the most competent at work, we find ourselves being pushed aside — that we can feel proud and very confident and walk tall on a day like this.

AMY GOODMAN: And the Green Belt Movement in Nigeria, where does it go from here? For both of you, I ask, and we only have a few seconds.

WANGARI MAATHAI: In Kenya, the Green Belt Movement is actually headquartered in Kenya, and we are trying very hard to not only intensify our work in Kenya, but also in the rest of Africa, and indeed beyond. And part of what I’m trying to do also is fundraise so that we can respond to the enormous response that we have received from all over the world, especially since we received the prize.

AMY GOODMAN: And Wanjira, will you be a part — continue to be a part of it?

WANJIRA MAATHAI: Absolutely. I think my role, especially as international liaison in communications and publications, it’s gotten broader and deeper, a lot more fun. So, it’s going well.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both very much for being with us. Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate will be giving her only address in New York before leaving for Kenya tonight at Cooper Union, tonight at 7:00. And Wanjira Maathai, thanks so much for being with us, as well.

WANJIRA MAATHAI: Thank you, Amy.

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